Counting Races

Guidelines for Counting Races 

We look for specific criteria for counting races/events.  In order to prevent questionable or fake events from being counted, we have established the following guidelines for what does and doesn’t count.

We define a race as an event that is open to the public; has a measured distance; a start and finish line; a race director; a means of timing participants; a legal permit to hold the event when applicable; and posted results that can be viewed by the general public (either on the race website or on a third-party website like Cool Running).

A race must have at least 15 finishers to count with two exceptions: 1) sanctioned virtual extensions of races held by military off-site, and 2) races that are a part of the Mainly Marathon series. Unique situations where races fall under this count will be reviewed/approved on a case-by-case basis.  We understand that as the racing market has changed, some smaller events that are legitimate races may still fall under this count.

A race can be held on any day of the week, can start at any time, and can be held anywhere in the world.  Races can be indoor, outdoor, road surface, or trail, and do not have to be certified.

Participants must have a published finish time. If you exceed the race’s published time limit and the race director lets you finish, we honor this as long as your results are officially published in the race results.  Medals or bibs are not considered proof of completion.

What counts:

  • Half marathons.  A half marathon is race that measures 13.1 miles.  
  • 21K events or 21.1K events (in countries where kilometers are used instead of miles).
  • Races that are a set distance that is more than a half marathon (13.1 miles) but below the marathon distance (under 26.2 miles). For example, the Salem Black Cat 20 Miler in MA would count.
  • Timed loop races where you pass the half marathon mileage but do not achieve a marathon distance. For example- if you complete 18 miles in a six-hour timed race. 
  • Free events count as long as they meet the other criteria listed above.
  • Marathon relays- count as long as you complete the entire 13.1 miles consecutively without interruption.
  • The running portion of a Half Ironman counts (if you are either the person completing the running portion as a part of relay or if you are completing all three parts of the Half Ironman).
  • For races that were ended early due to emergencies or weather conditions- if you finished and received an official time for the full race distance before the event was ended/black flagged, it counts.

What doesn’t count: 

  • Virtual races.
  • A race where you are the race director or official timer (conflict of interest).
  • Self-timed races do not count.  Finish times must be recorded and verified by an individual on the race staff or a third party timing company.  
  • Marathons and above do not count.
  • Relay races such as the Rangar Relays do not count as the race distance is not completed continuously.
  • Training runs/walks.
  • Treadmill races.
  • Untimed events, such as charity walks.
  • Events where you did not receive a finish time.
  • Races that were changed/altered/rerouted to be under the half marathon distance.  An example is the Unite Half Marathon in NJ from 2011- the race was adjusted to a 9.5 mile race due to flooding on the course.  
  • DNFs or disqualifications do not count.  
  • Unfinished measured events.  If you are in a set-distance 20 mile event, and complete 15 miles and then drop out, it would not count. 
  • If you participated under someone else’s name or bib number.